You've got a new album released only two months ago, so, how has been the response towards “Sterbender Satyr? Are you satisfied with this new album? Any detail you'd like to correct on the next one?
We are not completely satisfied, but the album comes relatively close to our intentions. “Sterbender Satyr” was warmly received and got many great reviews. Some listeners probably expected something different but only a few were really disappointed.
As I wasn't familiar with Orplid before listening to your new album, I'd like that you explain us a bit the main differences between this album and the previous ones. I read somewhere that Orplid was a Neo-Folk band, but you have a lot of electronic influences on this work, has this always been like that? I felt some Gothic or Dark/Cold wave influences on it too, reminding me sometimes to your country mates Lacrimosa, am I right or perhaps this is only due to the use of German on your songs?
Lacrimosa is one of the worst bands I have ever heard, so I will generously take this comparison as a joke. Though I wish we would sell as many albums as they do…
Elements of early Dark / Cold Wave are undeniably present on our new recordings, they are part of my musical background, but I think they are not too dominant. The electronics underline the abstract character of the songs. They also allow a rich spectrum of sounds, and our music has always been rather sound-based. The main difference to all our previous efforts is that we consequently kept the structure of the songs quite simple, which resulted in, as one interviewer put it, almost trance-like qualities.
It is true, Orplid is often considered as belonging to the Neo-Folk genre, mainly due to the fact that most songs on the early releases are built around the sound of acoustic guitars. Obviously there are even some similarities with that genre as far as contents and ways of distribution are concerned.
The line up of Orplid is composed of only two persons, Uwe Nolte and Frank Machau, but I imagine you had some help to record “Sterbender satyr”, like for the female voices(done by Sandra Fink, which are simply fantastic). Is all the music composed only by those two persons and then you engage musicians for the recording or the help started in the composition of the songs?
Orplid is just a duo but we are generally open to all kinds of interesting collaborations.
Uwe writes most of the lyrics, I am responsible for the music. On this album I played all instruments ( which are actually only 3: guitars, bass and sampler).
We needed help only for the female voices, which, due to some physical limitations, we were not able to do ourselves.
Can you introduce us into the lyrical world of Orplid? I think german culture has quite a weight on them, as one of the songs on the album, “Die Seherin”, is a poem from Oda Schaefer. Where do you find the inspiration that you represent on those lyrics?
A very healthy source of inspiration for all kinds of art is always life itself. But there are of course also the works of other authors / poets which have their influence on Uwe´s way of writing. Using the poetry of writers we appreciate for our songs is our way to pay homage to them, as it happened with Oda Schaefers “Seherin”.
Your songs are all sung in german(at least on “Sterbender Satyr”), but have ever thought about singing in other languages, as english, latin or any other? Do you use it only because it's your language or because of it's sonority too? On the album the songs with male vocals don't have female ones, and the same happens on the other way, why is it like that?
We prefer to present our thoughts in our native language. Uwe does not write simply lyrics but poetry, and I believe it is nearly impossible to write poetry in a foreign language, it is like painting with a broom…
Yes, the sound of the German language is very special indeed, which is not always helpful for singing. Some words are truly unsingable. But the more you deal with these things the more expressive becomes your singing. With sometimes astonishing results. I am not sure if this was possible with a foreign language.
The fact that we used either purely male ore purely female vocals in a song has no deeper meaning, it just seemed appropriate ...
The cover of the album is quite misterious, in my oppinion if reflects a lot of melancholy. Who did it? What did you want to reflect on it? Does the satyr know he is going to die?
Uwe did the cover. Besides poetry, photography is another passion of him.
Certainly, the satyr feels that his death is near. He is just a simple creature living in accordance with nature, something which we are not or at least no longer. That makes him accept his fate, there is no fear, no fighting , no bitterness and no regrets.
Is Orplid a live band or it remains a studio project? Are you going to do some live shows to present this new work? Which bands would you like to play with?
We have just started playing live, just one exclusive concert. I did not expect this, but I must say I enjoyed it. Probably we will repeat something like that from time to time.
Which are the Orplid's projects for the coming future? Have you started composing new songs or you will need some time to think about them?
Apart from Orplid we are working with other musical projects. I have released an album as primus inter pares ( see www.eislicht.de ), Uwe has his own label ( www.noltex.de ).
Hopefully there will also be a new album by Orplid out next year.
Can you tell us the last three albums that surprised you recently? A book and a movie? Which kinds of music inspire you the most?
Albums: Scott Walker “the drift”
The Durutti Column “keep breathing”
Artery “into the garden”(collection)
Movie: The man who wasn´t there
Book: Rolf Schilling “das holde reich”
All kinds of music, and art, are inspiring as long as they are original.
Some short questions now:
- Death In June or Sol Invictus: This sort of reminds me of the Beatles versus Rolling Stones thing in the 60s. I would not risk being beaten up for either of them.
- Religion or Politics: ... cannot be separated, even in the 21st century. But probably should.
- Folk or Electronic: It is more adventurous to ignore the boundaries of musical genres. As far as I remember, some inventive people in the music press have already coined the term “folktronic”.
- Kraftwerk or Laibach: I was never too impressed by Laibach, but they certainly had their moments. The importance of Kraftwerk is obvious. Many musicians that I admired in my youth had been massively influenced by Kraftwerk ( think of Joy Division, Human League ...).
- Poetry or Painting: I gave up both in favour of music at the age of 13 or 14. Uwe might have started writing poetry at around the same time. As recipients, we derive pleasure from all kinds of art.
Thank you for answering this interview, I hope all runs fine for Orplid during this year 2006. If you want to add something, it's your time…
Thank you very much for your interest and sorry for the delay ( as I was told, you already sent the interview a few weeks ago).
Gia Thanatos is a webzine dedicated to music for the apocalyptic times. No matter the scene or genre it comes from, and mainly chosen according to its author's taste.